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Review: The Goddess Test

 

The Goddess Test is the debut novel for Aimée Carter. It was released in the U.S. on April 19, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is available online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(The official release date is April 26, 2011, however it was available for download and to order the print copy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble on April 19th and was also seen in stores on the 19th.)

Published by Harlequin TEEN the print edition is 304 pages.

The Goddess Test is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

Goodreads description:

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

***

Henry

Katherine Winters was his last hope. After nearly a century of failed attempts to find someone to rule beside him in the Undeworld, he was ready to accept defeat and give up his immortal existence.

He agreed to give it one last try, but he couldn’t imagine Kate succeeding where the others had failed. Each one of the girls he hoped would stand by him had died. None of them even making it to the end of winter to face the council to see if they’d passed the seven tests required of them.

And after countless disappointments he was nearly overwhelmed by despair. But Kate had a fierce loyalty and determination that sparked something in him, offering him a glimmer of hope where none had existed before.

If he could just keep her safe until the council’s vote and if she could just pass those seven tests, she could fill the vacancy left by Persephone in his heart and as his Queen.

Kate

She would only need to spend six months of every year by his side, free to do as she chose during the spring and summer seasons. So what if she didn’t love him.

Even if it meant an eternity with a man she barely knew, if it could save her mother, or even give her just a few more months to say goodbye, she was willing to make that sacrifice. Her mother was all she had, her best friend.

It’s not like Eden Manor was a prison. And it’s not like Henry was an ogre. He was beautiful. He was immortal. And if she passed the tests and accepted the role as his wife she, too, would be immortal.

She just needed to figure out how to pass the tests and keep herself safe until spring. But the more she got to know Henry, the more she realized that it wasn’t just her life that she was worried about saving, but her heart.

***

The Goddess Test is absolutely charming and delightful and is an extremely entertaining modern take on the mythological Greek gods. It is one of those books that make it so easy to fall in love with the story, the characters and the writing.

Right from the start, readers will be able to see exactly who Kate is, and so each decision she makes is very believable for her character. Henry remains somewhat of a mystery but readers will learn enough to know whether he is worthy of their sympathy and their, and Kate’s, affection.

There are a few mysteries woven into this story of a girl who is willing to do nearly anything to protect those she cares about, that will keep readers hooked – How did Kate’s predecessors end up dead and what can she do to stay safe? What exactly are the seven tests? And who are the gods that will be passing judgment?

Author Aimée Carter does an amazing job of updating and aging the gods for the modern day, while keeping the original myths very much intact and smoothly incorporating them into the story in a way that does not feel heavy-handed.

The Goddess Test is a love story, a mystery, and a test of strength, determination and loyalty and is a fantastic start to this new series. The ending wraps up nicely but with the door wide open for what is to come.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

Oh.Em.Gee. This book was completely adorable and is an absolutely unputdownable must read. I was bewitched. And it was every bit as enchanting as I’d heard. And I so get the cover now, which I have always loved.

I immediately fell in love with Kate. She was just so sweet and selfless. And Henry was such a sympathetic character. Well, for the Greek god of the Underworld, anyway.

I got absorbed into the story immediately. And it felt like just a blink before I was clicking through the last few pages. And heck yes, I was left wanting more. It is going to be a long wait for Goddess Interrupted.

There were definitely a few things that I was able to guess at – which I’m glad about because I didn’t want to spend this book trying to figure things out and get pulled out of the story. By the middle of the book I did start to wonder about the tests, but it all gets explained so well I did let out an “ahhh,” which is always fun when you’re reading alone in public.

This is a perfect escape from real life and a series that I hope lasts for more than just a trilogy. And I love the author’s writing style and can’t wait to read more from her in the coming years.

***

Currently planned as a trilogy, the second book in the series, Goddess Interrupted, will be released in February 2012 and an untitled third book is slated for release in November 2012.

This review is based on the eARC I received from Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley for review and not the finished copy that I own.

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